Following this review is an exclusive interview with Stephanie Chong, in which she forthrightly answered questions that came up when I read this book. The interview might contain spoilers, fans of the series should definitely stick around until the end.
PJV Quickie: Stephanie Chong continues to push the limits of the genre she writes within with THE DEMONESS OF WAKING DREAMS, the second book in her Company of Angels series. The book is not your usual Paranormal Romance, but it is a series I highly recommend.
Title: The Demoness of Waking Dreams
Author: Stephanie Chong
Series: The Company of Angels #2
Publication: August 28th 2012 by Mira Books
Source: Provided by publisher
It is not required that you read the first book in the series, but it is highly enjoyable so don’t skip. We are introduced to a new hero, a former cop, turned Angel, Brendan. Brendan was taken down on the job and even after death he serves and protects. His latest mission will be the hardest he has ever undertaken. Brendan is tasked with tracking down the ruthless demon Luciana Rossetti, former consort of some of the most despicable Arch Demons on the planet. Luciana’s MO is poison and seduction, every move she makes is calculated and precise. Brendan is instantly enamored and intent on redeeming the woman that has been killing for centuries.
There are so many things that stand in his way, Luciana’s cold-blooded nature, the leader of the Los Angeles company of angels who is intent on exterminating Luciana and Luciana’s former lover who dying for revenge.
It was a very tough ride, THE DEMONESS OF WAKING DREAMS, was stuffed full of questions and the underlying story of redemption. Yet, the truth that pervaded the novel was what struck the hardest. Yes, I know, this is a story about demons and angels…how truthful can it be? But, in the end, the story is about a righteous man and a very disturbed woman and the fact that the path to redemption is not as easy as some Romances make it out to be. Chong’s heroine is not in the least bit heroic, she’s flawed beyond comprehension and Chong held true to the basic principles of human interaction. They were just very real to me and the outcome rang true. It was a pleasure to embark on and while I inherently want an HEA in my romance, I knew to stay true to this plot it wouldn’t be so for Brendan.
Because of the lack of resolution at the end, this might strike some as not their cup of tea, but look past that and just go on this little adventure, the world building and fantastic writing is well-worth the wait for a hopeful Brendan HEA.
Fans of Urban Fantasy might really enjoy this series, this is an adult series and there is a lot of carnal demon and angel interaction. Fans of Richelle Mead might find a new author for them…
Prior Review of Series:
- Where Demons Fear to Tread by Stephanie Chong
Exclusive Interview with Paranormal Romance Author, Stephanie Chong
PJ: Thank you Ms. Chong for taking the time to answer a few questions, Parajunkee’s View readers have about your series. First, I would like to say, I’m a fan of the series and the very daring approach you take with the genre. These questions arose during a discussion of your books.
PJ: You would consider the books paranormal romance, correct? Because, book two has an almost Urban Fantasy flavoring and a few whom have read THE DEMONESS OF WAKING DREAMS were questioning the what genre to classify it within.
Stephanie Chong: Yes, I consider the books to be paranormal romance. Genres aren’t static. Genres constantly change – some even die out completely, to be reborn decades later. Take the Western genre, for example. That genre changed vastly, from the original inception of the “Classical Western,” to “Spaghetti Westerns” in the ’60s and ’70s, to “Revisionist Westerns,” to the virtual extinction of the Western genre entirely for a few decades. In the last handful of years, we’ve experienced a resurgence of Western movies, with 3:10 to Yuma, True Grit, etc.
Anyway, I don’t mean to launch into an extended discussion of genre. Yes, I consider my books to be paranormal romance. However, I wouldn’t say The Demoness of Waking Dreams is conventional. I have broken some “rules.” But you know what they say about rules…
What I want readers to do is to think. Some people say they don’t read romance to think – they read romance to escape. To me, that’s such a cop out! Personally, I don’t believe that thinking and romance novels are mutually exclusive.
Romance readers are sharp thinkers and picky readers. As a writer, you can’t get away with much – people will call you out on things they don’t like. I don’t mind that. It makes you a better writer to consider all angles. Not to pander, mind you. But to consider.
PJ: Is there a set number of books in the THE COMPANY OF ANGELS series, or will this be an open-ended series with no set amount?
Stephanie Chong: The “Company of Angels” series is a trilogy.
Your next book in the series will be released in 2013, can you hint at who will be the characters? Have we met them before? Will each book cover a new couple?
Yes, each book covers a new couple. Book III tells the story of a hero and heroine we haven’t met before. However, some of the characters from Books I and II make appearances. Many of them aren’t finished doing what they feel they must.
PJ: Your ending in THE DEMONESS OF WAKING DREAMS was very different than the usual paranormal romance, which is probably the whole reason we are sitting around and discussing the finer points of the novel. Can you give us a hint for the future – will there be a bit of hope of a resolution?
Stephanie Chong: Yes, the ending is different, isn’t it?
I intended it to be full of hope. The ultimate message I wanted to convey is that love endures, even if two people cannot physically be together. Love is stronger than the circumstances of present time. Stronger than momentary pleasure. Stronger than what rationally seems meant to be.
I mean, come on! It’s been a year since Brandon has seen Luciana. He’s been hunting for her for all that time. And the guy still vows that he’s not going to stop. Until the end of freaking time. Until he finds her and figures out a way to be with her.
What’s more romantic than that?
An open ending requires more imagination on the part of the readers. What do you, readers, imagine happens to Brandon and Luciana?
PJ: Is there hope of a resolution?
Stephanie Chong: Hmm. Let’s look at the characters for a minute. Here are some of the questions I’ve asked myself.
Let’s start with Luciana. If you look at Book I, whose POV starts the book? Whose ends it? Is that book even about Luciana? Is Luciana finished growing by the end of Book II? Does she seem like the kind of character who’s going to just drift off into the mist and keep her mouth shut for the rest of time?
What about Brandon? Even though he doesn’t believe they’re supposed to be together, he still hopes beyond what is reasonable and rational. He vows to himself that he will find her. That they will be together. That he will slay the dragons keeping them apart. Do you trust him to find a way to win her back?
I know I do.
PJ: Would you like to add something to our discussion?
Stephanie Chong: For those of you who want to see what happens to the Company of Angels, sit back and enjoy the ride.
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